Everyone knows they should have a Will. But what actually happens if you don’t?

What happens if you die without a Will?

You would assume that your estate would go to your next of kin – your partner, spouse or kids for example. And you would be right, mostly. The ACT legislation sets out ‘intestacy rules’ for such circumstances in Part 3A and Schedule 6 of the Administration and Probate Act 1929. However, these rules do not contemplate individual circumstances, which can cause your loved ones considerable financial and emotional distress.

Consider John and Roberta*.

John and Roberta were partners for 40 years when John passed away without a Will. John had a daughter from a previous relationship and they both had a daughter together. The only asset of the estate was a house that was in John’s sole name. Roberta thought this was all fine and she would receive the estate, until she was advised that the intestacy rules in the ACT stated that Roberta would only receive the first $200,000.00 of John’s estate and the rest would be divided equally between the two children.

Roberta was devastated. The thought she would have to sell the house which she lived in for years, and be left without the means to buy a new one.

The way forward

Section 49G of the Administration and Probate Act allows a spouse to take the family home instead of the $200,000.00.

Chamberlains found the way forward by assisting Roberta to have the house transferred to her without lengthy Court proceedings by taking advantage of the provisions under section 49G.

Cheaper and easier in the long run

Although we found the way forward for Roberta, an application to the Court had to be made. If John had a Will leaving the house to Roberta, the costs of making an application to the Court to transfer the house under 49G would not have been incurred.

The most important lesson here is to make your intentions clear and give you and your loved ones the peace of mind they deserve by making a Will.

If your loved one has passed away without a Will and you are not sure what to do, Chamberlains can help. Book in and see us today – we can help you find the way.

 

*Names have been changed.

 

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